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Helpful Tips for Organizing a Messy Kitchen Pantry

Helpful Tips for Organizing a Messy Kitchen Pantry

Kitchen Pantry System

The pantry is one of the most important components of a kitchen. Chances are, multiple members of your household use it every day. From taking snacks or cereals off the shelves to storing canned foods just purchased at the grocery store, the constant flurry of activity can easily lead to a chaotic and cluttered situation.

While it may seem overwhelming, revamping your messy kitchen pantry is entirely possible with some organizational insight. Get your pantry under control with these 10 simple tips:

  • Start with a Clean Slate
  • Take Inventory
  • Categorize Items into Different Zones
  • Use Clear Jars and Bins
  • Label Everything
  • Use the “First In, First Out” System
  • Create a Kid-Friendly Spot
  • Get Creative with Unused Space
  • Put Heavy Items on the Ground
  • Take 10 to Tidy Up

Ready to get started? Here’s how to get your kitchen pantry organized once and for all!

Why Should I Organize My Pantry?

Tidying up your pantry isn’t just about optimizing its efficiency to make your life easier. It can also save you money on unnecessary grocery items. Easily taking inventory of your organized kitchen pantry will give you a clear picture of what you need to stock up on and what you already have. Moreover, a clean pantry will help you lead a healthier lifestyle. The experts at Good Housekeeping recommend filling your pantry with foods that promote your family’s wellness.

Cleaning your pantry will also drastically reduce food waste. You’ll never again forget about that lonely box of cereal.

1. Start with a Clean Slate

The first step to organizing your pantry is to empty the entire thing out. Throw out any items that are old, expired, or unused. Thoroughly scrub it from top to bottom to get rid of any stains or spills.

2. Take Inventory

After you’ve cleared out the clutter and tossed out the old items, take a thorough inventory of what’s left. If you’re running short on a particular snack or ingredient, jot it down on your grocery list. This will help you develop a clear picture of what you already have and what you need. By staying on top of the items in your kitchen pantry, you won’t buy any unnecessary grocery products ever again.

Kitchen Pantry Shelving

3. Categorize Items into Different Zones

Streamline your jumbled pantry into a smart food storage area by creating designated zones for different categories. Zoning your pantry will help you easily find items, see what foods you have, and what ones you need to restock. Divide your pantry into zones that fit your lifestyle, such as baking, workday lunches, weeknight dinners, kid-friendly meals, and entertainment.

4. Use Clear Jars and Bins

After everything is zoned, it’s time to start smartly storing all of your items. Stock up on clear jars and bins with sealable lids. You can store baking ingredients, such as sugar, flour, and cornmeal in the jars. Put cereal, candy, and other decanted dried goods in large, clear bins. Not only will this help keep your items fresher for longer, but it’ll protect your food from pesky pests and allow you to easily find the items you’re searching for.

Glass Jars

5. Label Everything

Pick up a good label maker at your local office supply store and label all of the bins and jars in your pantry. While this process may seem time-consuming, it’ll actually save you from headaches and hassles in the future. 

6.  Use the “First In, First Out” System

After everything is zoned, stored, and labeled, you can begin placing the items back into your pantry. While doing this, use the “first in, first out” storage method. Store the products that you have multiples of, such as cereal boxes and beverages, in such a way that the older (yet still good) items get used first. This will create less waste for you in the long run. 

Potato Chips

7. Create a Kid-Friendly Spot

Remember that kid-friendly meal zone you created earlier? Be sure to place that zone near the bottom of your pantry. Having your child’s snacks and beverages placed closer to the ground will make them more accessible to small arms.

8. Get Creative with Unused Space

An organized pantry takes advantage of every bit of space available. Get creative when it comes to unused space. You can hang a spice rack over the back of your pantry door or install a bag dispenser to easily hold grocery bags.

9. Put Heavy Items on the Ground

Heavy items, including large bins of pet food, should be kept on the ground. This eliminates your chances of an accidental injury and makes even the most cumbersome pantry items easily accessible.

10. Take 10 to Tidy Up

It’s important to stay on top of your kitchen pantry’s cleanliness and organization. Without vigilance, an organized pantry can quickly devolve into a mess once again. Take 10 minutes every evening to quickly glance over your pantry. If you’re running low on an item, put it on your grocery list. Ensure that everything is neat and tidy.


Getting your kitchen pantry organized will benefit your life in numerous ways. From saving money on groceries to decreasing food waste, you’ll love the efficiency of a tidy pantry.  Be sure to categorize items and keep them in clear jars and bins that are labeled. Make a kid-friendly spot and keep heavy items on the floor. Take 10 minutes every evening to ensure everything is in its place. With these 10 simple tips, you’ll enjoy an organized kitchen pantry for years to come!



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